The eye suffering from mycotic keratitis will hurt, appear read and inflamed, and become either dry or creamy on the surface.
The first symptom of fungal keratitis the patient may notice is severe eye pain. The pain may lessen as the disease progresses. The disease will progress through the eye from front to back.
- The cornea may change color and appear dull grey, and the surface of the eye may become dry and rough due to the spread of the fungus. Alternately, scratches on the eye caused by irritation from the fungus may produce a creamy fluid on the surface of the eye.
- Next the disease will impact the middle layer of the eye, or the uvea. Swelling of the uvea is likely to occur.
- As the disease progresses further the aqueous will also suffer. The aqueous is the rearmost layer of the eye. The eye will redden and pus will be present in the aqueous.
As the disease progresses the appearance of the eye may more closely resemble
an eye suffering from bacterial keratitis, and physicians should take great
care to determine which form of keratitis they are treating.
People who live in countries where the weather is warm are more likely to suffer from mycotic keratitis. This is particularly true of people who live in a tropical environment. This is particularly true of fungal keratitis that follows an eye injury. The reason for this is that the fungus survives better in warm weather than in cold. Mycotic keratitis suffered in colder regions is more often contracted through contact lenses or following the use of topical steroids.
Agricultural workers are more at risk than other populations, because they
work with plants that may host the fungus. Contact lens wearers in developing
countries are at greater risk than contact lens wearers in developed countries.
Individuals with compromised immune systems may have difficulty recovering
from the disease. This is because while the antifungal drugs are good at
slowing the growth of the fungi, they may not be able to destroy the fungus
completely. A strong immune system will in all likelihood be sufficient
to finish off the fungus, whereas a compromised immune system may not.
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